Today I was speaking with an attorney who was trying to understand why her client would benefit from my Custody Evaluation Prep service. I think it's a fair question and maybe others have the same question. Here are a few of the many reasons.
1. I have spent a significant amount of time speaking with mental health providers to determine what it is clients should expect. I have focused much of my practice on what I have learned. I have also reviewed copious amounts of custody evaluation reports from which I have learned how certain actions may be interpreted by mental health professionals.
2. I have prepared numerous clients, for custody evaluations, focused assessments and meeting with Court Appointed Advisers with great success.
3. I will work with your client in areas that you may not think of. For instance, what is the best way to present themselves during a home visit. I prepare the client for many scenarios, from getting them to practice ahead of time with their kids to how to address and behave around the person observing. I prepare them to advocate for themselves without coming off as pushy or demanding. Though these items may seem elementary, I provide examples of successes and failures to assure they understand the importance of how their behavior may be viewed by the evaluator.
4. When you hire me, as your consulting expert, to work with your clients, your client may feel as if you have a whole team of people working for them on their case. Your client's custody case is likely the most important thing to them. They want to feel as if you take it as seriously as they do. Hiring me to help guide and prepare them for this challenging and critical event will show them that you are taking it seriously.
5. By spending the amount of time I do with clients, in a comfortable environment, I may hear information of which you are not yet aware. For instance, old police reports or arrests that may work for them (if the opposing party has a criminal past) or against them (if they have a criminal past). If a personality disorder of the opposing party is suspected, I will help guide the client to provide the most pertinent and relevant information. Though the information my not be relevant to the court case itself, it may be very important in the diagnosis of mental health issues.
6. I have the time to spend with them. Often times lawyers get so bogged down with prepping for trial or working on other cases, they just assume their client will be fine. I have seen the results of unprepared clients, it is not pretty and it is a mess that cannot easily be cleaned up.
7. I review pleadings, emails and other important documents that show both sides of the case. I help focus the client on important issues and how to avoid scattered thinking.
8. I help your clients understand the testing that may take place and how to explain any answers that may put them in a negative lights.
9. I am available to help with timelines (logical presentation of important events), again in an effort to keep the client focused.
10. I do not give legal advise to your clients, so I will work consistently with your case strategy.
*Lawyers would retain me as an expert specially retained or employed in preparation of trial who is not expected to be called as a witness. See generally Rule 51(b)(4).
If you have any questions, or would like to set up an appointment, please email me at Launi@strategiclegalservicesaz.com or call 480-490-4054.